Delmopinol Hydrochloride Side Effects In Dogs
What is Delmopinol Hydrochloride?
Delmopinol hydrochloride (HCL) is a compound that has been shown to reduce the amount of plaque and gingivitis formation on teeth during clinical trials in humans. The study also compared Delmopinol HCL to other known plaque reducing mouthwash compounds and patients reported less irritation and side effects compared to the alternative.
A form of Delmopinol has been approved by the FDA for human use for prevention of plaque gingivitis and has been claimed to provide similar results for dogs. As per the description given by the FDA; "The drug interacts with the early acquired pellicle, the thin layer of saliva polymers and proteins covering teeth and gums, and forms a barrier over teeth and gums. This barrier prevents the microbial adhesion and colonisation on the tooth and gum surface. Delmopinol itself has no bactericidal activity."
What is Plaque?
Plaque is a combination of bacteria and slime that forms a film coating on teeth – if left for too long, plaque will harden into tartar which can cause damage to the teeth and gums. Even before tartar forms, plaque can cause problems because of the bacteria it traps on teeth and in the mouth. Bacteria is what gives your dog stinky breath and can result in other teeth, mouth or gum related problems.
Cleaning plaque and managing your dog's dental hygiene
Classic ways of removing plaque and bacteria from your dog’s teeth include manual brushing or having them play with specifically shaped chew toys which can scrape away the plaque. Delmopinol hydrochloride has been proposed to support mechanical cleaning by forming a protective barrier on your dog’s teeth to help repel plaque. This was first introduced in 2015 when Merial launched their line of OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews, which claim to improve canine dental hygiene and have support from vets. As mentioned, the formation of plaque, tartar and bacteria contribute to the unkind breath your dog might have, but it can also cause gum recession, inflammation and tooth loss if left unchecked.
OraVet Chews carry a seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). OraVet also claims to be supported by research that shows dental hygiene improvements where a comparison trial of giving dogs one OraVet chew per day versus dogs on a diet of dry food showed a plaque and tartar reduction of 50% in the OraVet group – however, the actual study is not published. OraVet Chews do however have many positive reviews around the internet with 4-5 stars given by customers from most major pet stores and minimal complaints or reports of irritation.
Side effects of Delmopinol Hydrochloride
Unfortunately, no studies have been done specifically on the side effects of delmopinol hydrochloride ingested by dogs, but people have mentioned some side effects for OraVet Hygiene Chews. Feedback shows the Chews can sometimes lead to diarrhoea or vomiting, but mostly limited to dogs with sensitive stomachs.
There have also been reports that OraVet Chews have turned some dog’s stool green – as strange as this may look, it is likely not to cause any harm to your dog, and is caused by ingredients in OraVet other than delmopinol hydrochloride such as the parsley flakes and alfalfa.
It should also be noted that the effectiveness of the OraVet Chews (and any other breath freshening chews) will be lost if your dog swallows the chew whole (the chewing action is what spreads the active ingredients around your dog’s mouth) so should be monitored.
Alternative dog chews
Other well-known dog chew treats include;
- Greenies Original Dog Dental Treats, list every ingredient on the package and are recommended by vets for at-home dental care.
- Virbac CET VeggieDent Chews are also approved by VOHC and offer high tartar removal performance.
- Pedigree Dentastix are clinically proven to reduce tartar formation by up to 80% and can be found easily at most pet and grocery stores.
These alternatives do not contain delmopinol hydrochloride – so might be worth checking out if you’re sceptical on that chemical specifically.
A majority of the reviews given by consumers for OraVet Chews are positive, and there is no known specifically adverse side-effects due to delmopinol hydrochloride across the general population of dogs that are given the Chews. Delmopinol hydrochloride itself has known benefits to reduction of tartar, plaque and bacteria on teeth and gums – but as always there are alternatives if you’re still cautious.